As daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, Catherine was destined to be a great queen. She was married first to Henry's older brother, Arthur, who sadly died months later. Denying that the marriage was ever consummated, she was then married to Henry. Their only surviving child was Mary - later known as Bloody Mary - and as no male heir was produced after many attempts, Henry grew impatient and distracted by Catherine's ladies-in-waiting, particularly one - Anne Boleyn.
Catherine was a strict Catholic, fighting for her marriage and love until Henry installed himself as head of the church in England and annulled the marriage himself so that he could wed his mistress, Anne Boleyn. Even after, she firmly refused to accept Henry as having authority over the Pope and considered herself still his rightful wife. She was a much loved figure by the peoples.
She was sent away from court and forbidden to communicate with her daughter. When Catherine died there were many rumors of poison being the cause, but modern medical experts suspect it was cancer. She was the eldest of Henry's wives to die at 50. Henry did not attend her funeral and Mary was again forbidden. It is believed Anne Boleyn miscarried a son on the day of the funeral.
Catherine was probably my favorite of Henry's wives. From most every account I've seen/read/heard of her she was regal, respectful and very devoted - to her people, her daughter, her husband and her faith. Even those not so much her friends at the time had great admiration for her. In the Tudors the brilliant Maria Doyle Kennedy embodied these traits - and did what I thought was a convincing Spanish accent...which amuses my boyfriend to no end since I think he originally thought she had a lisp. ><